Open Floor Plans

Most homes built within the past ten years have been designed with an open floor plan, catering to a more relaxed, but busy lifestyle. Homeowners tend to entertain less formally and with a hectic schedule, want to spend quality time with family whenever possible. An open floor plan provides a space that is welcoming and relaxing, and allows everyone to gather in the same space with ease.

The kitchen is typically open to the great room, with an island or bar delineating the space and allowing a spot for children to do homework or guests to chat with the cook. Sometimes a formal dining room is eliminated entirely, with a large breakfast nook with space for a big table serving as the family eating area. Auxiliary rooms designed for organization and convenience, such as a butler's pantry, craft room, mud room, or home office, are important with today's lifestyle and are usually sited adjacent to the main living area.

With an open floor plan, the master suite may be privately situated on the main level with a luxury bathroom and private patio to the rear. Secondary bedrooms may also be on this level or upstairs with additional auxiliary areas such as a bonus room or a home theater. Outdoor living areas offer more space to relax and host down-to-earth parties.

Although an open plan is especially associated with very modern designs, all kind of styles are now being built with free-flowing layouts. Vaulted ceilings, large expanses of windows, and generous outdoor living areas create a more open feeling in today's house plans.

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